An agriculture expert says establishing markets for farmers in both rural and urban areas and exposing farmers to alternative crops is a key way of improving agriculture in the country.
Country Director for Agriculture for Transformation Initiative Dr Candida Nankhumwa said this on Thursday during launch of Mwapata Institute which is an independent agriculture policy think tank in Malawi.
Speaking with reporters, Nankhumwa said before establishing the markets for farmers, the farmers need to be exposed and given opportunity to grow different crops in order to create an appetite for competition instead of depending on one crop for example Tobacco.
Nankhumwa also talked about rearing animals.
“As Malawi the options are quite many, we look at livestock which has got a lot potential to produce a lot of fish, we need to begin looking for those alternatives and develop them into something better,” she said.
In his remarks, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Lobin Lowe said increasing agriculture productivity growth would ease the problems arising from declining land holdings on rural livelihoods.
On his part, Mwapata Institute Advisory Board Chairperson Richard Mkandawire said that policy process should be more inclusive and transparent by bringing in key stakeholders such as farmers, private sector and Civil Society.
He noted that farmers should be working in groups such as cooperatives to accommodate larger marketing arena and make sure that farmers are benefiting from their sweat.